Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance

Common Sense Media says

Disney characters star in fight-filled role-playing game.

Age(i)

2
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Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The game is about good defeating evil, which is a positive message -- and it has some familiar Disney characters like Mickey and Donald -- but the game is rooted in fantasy violence, such as swinging a sword-like Keyblade weapon and casting damaging magic spells. As a result, parents may feel split on the game's messaging.

Positive role models

Gamers alternate between Sora and Riku, two protagonists who vow to take down the evil Master Xehanort and his many minions. Not much is known about Sora and Riku, however, despite some backstory provided for gamers who want to read up on them. They are heroes, but use fantasy violence to accomplish most missions.

Ease of play

The game is easy to control using the Nintendo 3DS buttons and bottom touch screen, but it can be a bit overwhelming when the action heats up and there are multiple enemies on screen at the same time (especially for novice or younger players). The game does have a tutorial level and a help screen, however, plus a thick booklet with information about controls.

Violence

This single-player cartoon adventure features plenty of fast-paced fantasy violence against a wide range of enemy characters. This includes wielding a sword-like Keyblade weapon and using magic blasts to take down baddies. There is no blood or gore and the enemies don't die -- they simply disappear. Some of the boss characters are larger and more difficult to take down, but they're cartoon-like and over-the-top.

 

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

As with past games in the Kingdom Hearts franchise, this game houses many familiar Disney characters including Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and others. Many of the levels are built upon popular Disney films, including Hunchback of Notre Dame, Fantasia, Tron, Pinocchio, and so on.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance is a cartoon-like fantasy role-playing game, but there is a heavy emphasis on violence. It's not graphic or bloody, but third-person combat makes up the bulk of the gameplay. Don't be fooled by the cute Disney characters as there is sword (Keyblade) slashing and magic attacks used to defeat enemies.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading
  • following directions

Science

  • momentum
  • physics

Hobbies

  • pets

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • problem solving
  • strategy
  • applying information

Self-Direction

  • identifying strengths and weaknesses
  • achieving goals

What Kids Can Learn

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading
  • following directions

Science

  • momentum
  • physics

Hobbies

  • pets

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • problem solving
  • strategy
  • applying information

Self-Direction

  • identifying strengths and weaknesses
  • achieving goals

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

This Learning Rating review was written by Marc Saltzman

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

KINGDOM HEARTS 3D: DREAM DROP DISTANCE is an action-heavy role-playing game (RPG) that fuses third-person combat with imaginative worlds and familiar faces, including many Disney characters and villains. Depending on the task at hand, you'll play as two different spiky-haired teenagers, Sora and Riku, in their quest to become masters of the Keyblade, a magical key-shaped weapon wielded like a sword. The story can get quite convoluted, but the duo team up to take on the malevolent Master Xehanort, voiced by Leonard Nimoy of Star Trek fame. Other celebrities to lend their voices to characters include Haley Joel Osment (as Sora), David Gallagher (Riku), Hayden Panetierre (Xion) and Jesse McCartney (both Roxas and Ven). The orchestral music, including timeless Disney melodies, is also exceptional. You'll also interact with the likes of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and many other Disney mainstays, in detailed worlds based on classic Disney films ranging from Fantasia and Pinocchio to more modern movies like Tron and its computerized grid world.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

It's not a flawless fantasy, but it should entertain both fans of the franchise and those new to Kingdom Hearts games, too. Combat is the name of the game, with countless enemies to battle. Referred to as Dream Eaters, these colorful creatures come in all shapes and sizes, and you must attack, block, dodge, and jump to take them down. You'll also use the environment to swing, dash, and perform fast acrobatic moves, perform magic spells and combo chains, and recruit more than 50 different kinds of spirits to fight alongside you. Visually speaking, the three-dimensional environments are stunning and well-designed; both Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL machines let you see the game in 3D without requiring any glasses.

As with other role-playing games, you'll "level up" over time and experience, and grow stronger throughout the single-player adventure. But unlike many other RPGs, there's little in the way of side missions to keep the player engaged -- but at least there are a couple of mini-games, such as riding light-cycles in the Tron world or collecting stars while flying through vortexes. Overall, fans of past Kingdom Hearts games and Disney characters should get a lot out of the fast-paced Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. Between the non-stop combat, beautiful environments, and stellar orchestral score, the game's charm and action outweighs the confusing story, awkward dialogue, and other minor shortcomings.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Square Enix using Disney characters, villains, and locations in the Kingdom Hearts games and if it adds anything to them? Is it just a marketing ploy to expand the appeal of these fantasy role-playing adventures? Does it seem like a disconnect in the game world, or does the integration contribute to the overall experience?

  • How do you feel about playing games on the Nintendo 3DS? Do you use the 3D often?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo 3DS
Price:$39.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Square Enix
Release date:July 31, 2012
Genre:Role Playing
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
ESRB rating:E10+ for Fantasy Violence (Nintendo 3DS)

This review of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 16 years old Written byPITLadyPalutena99 August 3, 2012
AGE
12
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Some problems but overall a great game

One incident of the h word and one of the characters show a lot of her stomach. Some violence.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Kid, 11 years old August 14, 2012
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

for kids and teens

i like it its disney caracters. the only thing is there is some fighting but its with a key so really i suggest it
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent Written bywishandwash August 12, 2012
AGE
8
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Great addition to your 3DS library!

It's like any other Kingdom Hearts game, bloodless cartoony fighting. Your characters use a "Keyblade" which is a giant key, not a sword. They say "hell" in one scene but, that's from the Tron: LEGACY world and it was said in the movie anyway. Nothing much. A big thing about this game are the "Dream Eaters", which you control as pets (feeding, playing with etc.). Overall a really great game that every 3DS owner should have.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing

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